Sierra Leone passport wahala
Are we to blame, the Leones, or the dollar?
It is the due right of a citizen to have the passport of his/her country, but it was very much ridiculous for a statement to be uttered by a Senior Stakeholder of trust in society saying ‘having a Citizen Passport of your Country is a luxury not meant for all, but for only those that do travel, or are about to travel’.
Initially it was Le100,000, yet hard for many to go for it, not that a good number don’t need it but due to the socio-economic state of the country. The other factor that strongly debars people from knowing the worth is the lack of public education; why a citizen should have a passport as a right. The awareness of the country to actually see the necessity is low.
People sometimes only know the value of having a passport when requested for at certain quarters to produce it. For the fortunate ones that have got it before, a good number of them have failed to renew it after it expired, reason being that the same cost goes for the renewal of the passport after expiration. The few outlined and more are fully to the knowledge of our Parliamentarians and are there to represent the people from the various localities, they knew and heard the crying and shouting against the proposed increment by then concerning the passport, yet the Parliamentarians stood firm and with blind support in majority got the cost from Le100,000 to Le500,000 with no further negotiation because they can afford it.
However, the technicality used which many cannot understand is that the said cost in dollar per passport still stands and since then to now the equivalent sum of Le 500,000 to $100 to date continues, irrespective of the inflation in the Leones to a Dollar, meaning the Net-page Company that produces the e-passport is currently at a loss.
If we can recall that recently there was a press release from State House by the President for Sierra Leoneans to do all their businesses or transactions in Leones and not in Dollars, now that they want to fully enroll in enjoying the inflation, are cleverly requesting for the cost of e-passport in Leones but equivalent to the $100.
The information is out as early as this October and will not be in effect till November 1st this year, this is because they want to test the ground to see and hear the responses and reactions of Sierra Leoneans while waiting for the targeted date to take full effect. When once it comes into effect it will stand, then the statement of being a luxury and not meant for everybody will become a reality, meant for the rich and not the poor or ordinary people, not for those that don’t travel out of the Country. People are in fact speculating that the prize will soon emerge to Le 1,000,000.
Decisions are selfishly made for the benefit of just a few; these are the kind of bullets you should expect to face. It was from Le 100,000 to Le 500,000 which goes for a period of five (5) years, now with this kind of inflation in Leones as the cost in dollars still remains, why not make increment in the period of years to take from five (5) years to now become or go for the period of ten (10) years and also reduce the renewal cost after expired than to pay the same rate?
By Viktor Tutu Rogers:
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